Sheffield United: Chief explains new look

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Julian Winter, Sheffield United’s chief executive, has explained why trimming the club’s football board could aid the search for new investment, writes James Shield.

Winter, who returned to Bramall Lane last week following a previous spell in the role, joins Scott McCabe and chairman David Green on the three man panel.

Chris Steer, Mike Blundell and Ian Cameron have been appointed vice-presidents as part of a re-organisation sanctioned by owner Kevin McCabe.

Winter, underlining the distinction between the new group and United’s plc board, said: “We have a great deal of infrastructure here and in order for someone to acquire everything would take a significant amount (of money).

“But investment, if it does come here, will be to support first team operations.”

Despite claims to the contrary, analysts have told The Star than splitting a club’s sporting a business interests does not dissuade potential backers.

Assem Allam has pumped significant sums into Hull City despite the KC Stadium still being council owned.

Winter said: “It’s much easier to make decisions with a smaller group and if you want to be sustainable then you’ve got to cut your cloth.

“In the past, perhaps the two boards were a little bit fluid. That’s not the case now.”

United, who as The Star revealed last year are set to receive a further six figure payment from City following Stephen Quinn’s involvement in the East Yorkshire outfit’s promotion to the Premier League, have placed their academy at the heart of plans to regain the Championship place they relinquished in 2011.

Joe Ironside, Elliott Whitehouse and Callum McFadzean all impressed en route to last season’s League One play-off semi-finals while Diego De Girolamo, an Italy youth international, appeared destined to enjoy a prolonged run at senior level until injury prematurely ended his campaign.

Winter confirmed spending on United’s academy would be ring-fenced despite acknowledging that first team budgets are set to be cut in response to last week’s second-leg defeat at Yeovil Town.

*Twitter: JamesShield1